We love a candid interview at The Star Moments HQ, so much so that we’ve introduced a new monthly column where we chat with inspiring individuals to offer you a glimpse into another life.
Ever wondered what it might be like to work ‘round the clock, organising amazing events and activities for high rollers, chatting to people of all walks of life every day and picking up other languages as you do? Meet Madeleine (Maddy) Carlino who does exactly this. Her role as a VIP Premium Host at The Star Gold Coast means no two days are ever the same.
One day she might be meeting a VIP guest as they step off the tarmac from a helicopter, the next she’s planning an aerial adventure for a client or booking dinner. “I love coming to work every day and seeing people smile; even if it’s just a ‘good morning’… I really enjoy just making people happy,” says Maddy, who loves the flexibility and diversity of her job.
The VIP host remit
So, what does a VIP host actually do? Maddy basically looks after her VIP clients’ entire holidays or business trips, from hotel bookings and airport transfers to flights and reservations. It’s certainly not a nine to five job. “We could start at 6am one day or 10pm another day, it really just depends on the demand and what we’re needed for,” she says.
Maddy handles all of the stressful, logistical “stuff” behind the scenes, and keeps her guests informed with the more exciting things, like booking restaurants and other activities. One of Maddy’s favourite things to organise for her clients is daytrip tickets to the well-loved Gold Coast theme parks.
As a VIP host your top priority is making sure the guest feels unique, tells Maddy. “We need to ensure we’re not just giving them the same service as everybody else,” she says. It’s all about personalisation.
Variety is the spice of life
In Maddy’s job, there’s no such thing as a “typical” day.
“We have to adapt to people’s needs every day.” Madeleine Carlino
On average, Maddy speaks to about 20 to 30 guests per week over the phone to get their whole travel booked. She starts planning for her VIP guests from the moment she locks in their travel dates. “We speak with them about what restaurants they’d like to dine at or what activities they’d like to do. It could be three months out, or it could be six months out,” she explains.
A host in the making
While Maddy studied at university and worked her way up into her profession, the most common job role that leads into VIP services is having worked on a luxury airline. Whether it’s Emirates or even private jet services, Maddy says having an understanding about what it means to be a VIP or how to treat VIPs is essential in her role.
Maddy’s key bit of advice for budding VIP hosts is to build relationships and rapport with your clients. “We end up knowing our clients as you would a friend or a family member,” she says.
“While they may not be someone you would usually see or meet in your daily life, I think it’s a real skill to be able to connect with people no matter what. No matter where they come from, no matter what walks of life they’ve been on. It’s built my personal skills a lot.”
Finish these questions…
The one thing that gets me out of bed for work every morning is…
Knowing that you can come to work and, if you have the right attitude, change someone’s day or make someone smile.
The most important skills in my job are…
People skills! You have to have great personal and social skills for this job.
The strangest thing I’ve ever arranged for a client…
One client had an important meeting or photo shoot and they realised they’d forgotten blush. We went to Pacific Fair and made sure that we got this specific colour and brand they were after.
A fun fact about my job is…
I’ve picked up other languages. You pick up a lot of Mandarin, and Japanese and Italian even. People love to teach us.
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